Every once in awhile I do or say something that reminds me of just how sinful I truly am.
On May 5th (the second Sunday after Easter), Nick Vujicic, founder of Life Without Limbs, a ministry based in Australia, preached at my church. He’s very well known, so all three services were quite well attended, with the main sanctuary being packed, and the overflow seating as well.
I was able to get a seat in the main sanctuary, but only just barely. I have a compulsive need to sit on the aisle, because I feel closed in if there are people sitting on both sides of me, and the only aisle seat available was down in front next to the wall. Unfortunately, even though the seat was on the aisle, because it was next to the wall and by the stage ~ basically in the right front corner of the room ~ my ability to see the stage, and therefore Nick Vujicic, was extremely limited.
There was one open seat next to me that improved my visibility, so I sat there, and prayed that no one would take the aisle seat.
Actually, what I thought was, “I hope whoever sits there isn’t fat like me.”
Then I listened to what I’d just said to myself, and felt a wave of disgust wash over me. This couldn’t be pleasing to God! What was I to do?
I quickly decided that the most important thing I needed to do was repent, and ask for God’s forgiveness, so that’s what I did.
But God’s forgiveness notwithstanding, I was still left with the disquieting question of why I’d allowed myself to think like that in the first place.
That’s when the Holy Spirit reminded me of Romans, Chapter Seven,
For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. … For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. … Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? ~ Romans 7:15, 19, and 24, ESV.
When the Scriptures were originally written down they weren’t separated into chapters and verses, so Romans 7 and Romans 8 were transcribed as one long discourse.
I can’t tell you how grateful I am for that, because, while Romans 7:15 through the end of the chapter bemoan our sinfulness, Romans 8 gratefully and joyfully acknowledges Christ’s victory over that sin through His death on the cross and resurrection from the dead. Chapter 8 also specifically says that nothing, including our sin, can separate us from the love of Jesus,
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~ Romans 8:38-39, ESV.
I’m so grateful and thankful for God’s love for me! Now I need to get my thought-life in line with God’s Word, and specifically the fruit of the Spirit listed in the Book of Galatians,
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. ~ Galatians 5:22-23, ESV.
So all is not lost. God’s Word is at work in my life, and while I did experience an unpleasant confrontation with my humanity and sinfulness, I also became aware once again of just how much God loves me regardless of my sin.
Thanks be to God for His unfathomable and unspeakable gift!